New to pfsense, what would I need for my home network?



  • Hello all, I'm completely new, and looking to build my first pfsense rig.

    Right now, one of my options is a free pc that was given to me by my boss. It has an amd a8-6410. It is kind of unusual, given that it is a laptop cpu built into a desktop, but that means it has a freakishly low tdp of 15 watts. The psu of the entire system is rated at 180W. It has a pretty low single core passmark of 887 and a multi core of 2566. It's a quad core at 2ghz with a turbo of 2.4ghz.

    My network has a lot of devices connected to it, at least for a home network. We have

    • Three Xbox ones (one is a one X) because my dad and I play some online games together, and he uses both xboxes for some reason

    • one playstation 4

    • three smart TV's

    • a plex server built from an hp z400 with a 6 core xeon

    • four iphones

    • 4 windows laptops, a surface, a mac, and an ipad

    • a ps3 and xbox 360

    • three desktops, one connected via wireless, one via wired connection, and the third via powerline

    • some amazon alexa things

    • a nintendo switch

    • some roku things

    • our AC3200 asus wireless tri-band wireless router will serve as a wireless access point and an ethernet switch given its 4 ethernet outputs built in.

    • I have an intel gigabit lan and the motherboard has a gigabit lan built in, and that's all I'll need.

    Our internet is with spectrum and we get up to 250-300mbps down and 10mbps up. Our main reason we want to go with a pfsense is mainly to make the wireless router itself do less work and possibly run more reliably, with less random drops to like 40 kilobits a second, and I would just like yet another thing to tinker with. I would also like to work with the vpn and other random features of pfsense, but they coincidentally seem like they would increase load on the cpu. I do have the option of using a system with an AMD phenom II x6 1045T which is a 6 core running at 2.7ghz, but it has a power draw more than 6 times that of the a8 system, and it isn't that much better than the a8 in terms of single core horsepower.

    For all the devices that I have connected to my internet, should I go with the A8? or should I wait for something a little more powerful?

    Thanks!



  • Hi,

    Your A8 will do, because the price / performance is perfect.
    Your A8 needs two NIC's at least - you want probably one or two more for later ideas that will pop up.
    Get yourself a comfortable big gig 15+ port switch and you'll be up in ... well (all your devices speak DHCP ?) ... 5 minutes.



  • @gertjan would I be able to use the gigabit ethernet port that is built into the motherboard, or do I have to use pcie nics?



  • Of course.
    If the equipment on the other side is also Gbit capable.
    (and ... if the NIC is supported by FreeBSD 11.x )


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